Concepts To Caricatures — Celebrating 25 Years of Caricature Carving
The Caricature Carvers of America
Reviewed by Matt Kelley
The Caricature Carvers of America (CCA), as many of you know, was founded in 1990. In this, their 25th anniversary year, they have released their seventh book, Concepts to Caricatures; Celebrating 25 Years of Caricature Carving.
Unlike many of their books, this volume from Schiffer Publishing is not centered around a specific project; rather, each CCA member created a carving in their own style. Some of the projects are individual figures; some are set in scenes — no restrictions were placed on style, size, or subject matter.
- Who Are The Caricature Carvers of America?
- History of the Caricature Carvers of America
- Step-by-step with Chris Hammock
- CCA Chapters — a chapter with each of 25 CCA members over 97 pages
- Patterns - 13 pages worth
- Members Gallery — another 13 pages
Chris Hammack Step-by-step — The Pitch
Chris Hammack, who is know for his western art, decided to do something different and carved a baseball player. Actually, he carved five caricatures of a pitcher on the mound, one each for:
- The Sign
- The Look
- The Windup
- The Stretch
- The Release
While there are photos of all five carvings, the step-by-step covers the everything from concept to finished carving for The Windup. The first set of photos include the final design sketch, cutting out the pattern and transferring front and side views to the block, and bands awing the blank. Chris then spends the next 25 pages covering the carving and finishing of the piece, concluding with some great gallery pages. Along the way he salts the photos with lots of commentary and hints. There is a lot of detail in this section, and an experienced carver should have few problems following the steps-by-step. This is not for the faint of heart, however, as there are a lot of skinny limbs and thin cross-grain sections to deal with. As Chris notes early in the introduction to the step-by-step, “I recommend leaving those [cross-grain] parts ’til last and not being far form a tube of super glue and some accelerator.”
After the step-by-step, you’ll find almost a hundred pages devoted to the additional 25 CCA members included in the book. Each chapter includes a brief biography of the member, an discussion of the development and carving of the piece, some tips and a selection of in-progress and finished photos.
CCA Members and carvings Included:
- David Boone — Are You a Hatfield or McCoy
- Mitch Cartledge — Big Daddy’s Big Night
- PJ Driscoll — Let The Games Begin
- Gary Falin — Lance Boyle
- Gene Fuller — Checkmate
- Dale Green — Don’t Drink and Drive
- Bruce Henn — Diamond Devils — Little People’s League
- Eldon Humphreys — Guitar Man
- Randy Landen — Pull
- Pete Leclair — Mornin’ Ladies
- Don Mertz — Windy Windale
- Keith Morrill — Santa Chess Set
- Ryan Olsen - Still Fits
- Steve Prescott - Cowboy Wisdon
- Doug Raine — Vaquero
- Floyd Rhadigan - The Old Salt
- Joe Schumacher — Squinten Clinten
- Sandy Smith — MelonCollieBaby
- Dave Stetson — Female Figure
- Dennis Thornton - Eagle Eye
- Bob Travis - You Are My Sunshine
- Rich Wetherbee — Back Forty
- Jack A Williams — Pickin’ and Singin’
- Tom Wolfe — Home Delivery
- Joe You — Feeding The Prince
Wonder about the carvings behind the titles? You’ll need to get the book to see!
Here you’ll find a pattern the carving included the CCA Section. Some are simple outline patterns; some include much more detail.
A tasteful selections of photos of other carvings by CCA members
The layout of the book is good, the photos excellent. A tip ‘o the hat to editor Sandy Smith and her associate editors Randy Landen and Bob Travis. Another tip ‘o the hat to Jack A and Carol Williams for the cover and studio photos, as well as Chris Hammock for the step-by-step photos. The layout and photos, as well as the humor present whenever CCA members assemble, all combine to make this an enjoyable book to read and use.
If you are a caricature carver this book should be on your Christmas list (It’s still not too late). If you are a more general carver, you still should consider this book, as learning more about how a carving is conceived and created will be of benefit.
To learn more about Caricature Carvers of America, their other publication and the annual CCA Caricature Carving Competion, visit their web site at www.cca-carvers.org